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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Simple Test, Are You Afraid To Take It?

It's really a simple concept that can be used for taking a simple test. You don't have to be intelligent or well educated. I want you to think about this for one second. If I will get closer to God, then He will get closer to me. Now, I want you to keep thinking about it. It doesn't have to be constantly, just at any moment of the day that you choose to think about it. I'm going to go ahead and share with you the results of your test. After all, it's by your choice to participate in the test at all. Your one thought, that you've chosen to think about at random times of the day, will pretty soon become a thought that you are obsessed with. Eventually it will lead to courage to take an action to do something to get closer to God.

Homes are broken up over someone having just one thought and choosing to continue thinking about it. Then they get to the point where they are obsessed and have to make a decision to either act on it or quit thinking about it. Thoughts are strange. They can lead you into a fantasy world, where even though you are living in reality, you know that escaping into a dreamland releases stress and it's comforting to know that you can close your eyes and no one knows where you are except for you and God. If that last part made you twinge a little, then maybe your dreamland isn't such a good place to be after all. What people fail to realize is even though they know that being with someone isn't going to be exactly what they imagine, but the "what if's" make it seem so enticing that we get the courage to try to find out what will happen. Sometimes it's a lot easier to trade in what we know our life is for what we imagine our life could be like.

As I was getting closer to God, I had a whole lot of "what if's". I knew what it was like to be close to God and I longed for that feeling again. When I was very young, I lost my natural father. I remember coming home from church one day and sitting in the car I started crying because I was upset that everyone I knew had their Dad, but mine had been taken away. I don't remember my mom's exact words, but I remember what the thought that I kept repeating to myself, "God is my father now". I repeated that so much to myself that eventually I didn't even have to tell myself for me to know because God was my father.

Of course as I became an adult, I thought that I could control what happened in my life by what I did. I could even control my level of stress to a point. When I was in the middle of trying to have my time to de-stress (that's what I called it, now I realize that playing computer games is like everything that we enjoy, it's okay in moderation), I would tell my kids to go to their room and watch TV, just leave me alone for a few minutes "so I can de-stress". It worked, but now I look at my kids and think yikes! what have I done. What I didn't realize was how much more God can control than I can control myself. I don't have to get stressed out anymore, unless I want to. The closer I let Him get to the top of my priority list, the less stress I have.

By having the courage to start getting closer to God, He gives us conviction that motivates us to do things like read the Bible or pray. Because of our convictions, we start enjoying meditating, blogging, visiting with our friends and not hesitating talking about God. It becomes something that is comforting to us. It becomes a part of who we are. Eventually, it doesn't strike us as something odd because we had the courage to come to God, He gave us boldness.

People can tell if you've been watching television, reading your Bible or praying. You can tell what kids your own kids have been around by the way they act. They mimic who they've been around. You don't have to flaunt Jesus in your life, because He's there, He makes himself known in what we do, what we participate in and how we talk. Boldness takes the place of insecurity. People ask how come I'm not so stressed out running my own business and raising two teenage girls. My answer is "I don't have to get stressed out, I know that God is taking care of it and He's raising my kids". I only have to keep letting him guide me.

We want our children to be bold and stand up for not smoking, drinking or doing drugs. Where are we expecting their boldness to come from? My kids go to public school. "My plan" was to have my children taught their education in school and I would teach them about God. Why is it so much harder to do something than it is to say that your going to do something? It's amazing how many years have flown by since I made that plan. Fortunately, neither of them are "in trouble" and they are pretty good kids, but they also come home everyday after school and until now they haven't been at the age where they're wanting to go hang out at the mall for a couple of hours. I thank God that he woke me up before it was too late.

Life has "if" in it, but live has "I've" in it meaning "I have". He gave us life so that we may live. You have been given the choice to decide whether the "if" in your life is for "what if" or "if I". Being human is hard, but I know that "if I" choose to follow Him, He will give me grace. "If I" step out in faith, He will lead me. I don't know the answers to the "what if's", but "if I" trust in God, He already knows all the answers and "I have" no stress because "I have" God in my life.

Because "I have" the courage to get close to God, He gave me boldness and with boldness "I have" faith. Faith to let go and stop it with the "what if's". You'll never have faith until you have the boldness to stand up to even yourself. You'll never have the boldness that is given by God until you have the courage to become closer to God. Have you been asking to see miracles? Only Jesus has the power to work through you. With God it's a "give-give" relationship. You give and He gives you. God is great! Do you have the courage to take the test?


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